E L S U A ~ A KM Blog by Luis Suarez

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The Business Case for Enterprise Blogs – It Is Still (Personal) Knowledge Management

If earlier on today I created a weblog post about the level of accuracy from a news article on weblogging created over a year ago, here you have got another different example that proves the point that some times when you bump into really good content it doesn’t really matter how long ago it was created. It would still be very valid and could just fit in quite nicely in the current business environment. This is exactly what happens with a YouTube video put together by Rod Boothby some time ago that very clearly puts together, in under 17 minutes, an impressive and compelling business case for Enterprise Weblogs.

You can go ahead and watch the video over here:

In it you would be able to see how Rod states that enterprise weblogs are powerful enablers for (key) innovators to go out there and reach out through multiple conversations that would allow them to keep collaborating and innovating constantly with other knowledge workers.

At the same time, and while you get to dive into the more in-depth presentation, you would be able to see how he actually gets to build that business case by focusing on some real examples of what is going on at the moment out there on the Internet with examples like Apple, Google, wisdom of crowds, etc. Also you would see how one of the strongest points from Rod in that particular video is how to empower all enterprise employees into a single strategic objective: Constant Innovation.

From there onwards he finally explains how to actually tackle constant innovation through innovation creators and he actually manages, quite successfully I should add, to describe how they would operate as a team / community, or whatever the grouping, by allowing them to build up different relationships and establishing different informal networks where they could get to share their knowledge and collaborate further with other knowledge workers.

However, what I found most interesting about his business case is that towards half way through the video he is actually indicating how innovation creators do need better communication tools and not Knowledge Management. WOW! That was a strong statement, indeed ! Specially when later on he keeps on talking further about weblogs, which we all know are part of the social networking or the social software hype going on at the moment, that, in its own right, I am not sure what you would think about it, is Knowledge Management. And very much so.

Perhaps the focus might no longer on the explicit knowledge exchange, which is what, for instance, his example on Office products would be like, but rather on tacit knowledge exchange, which is what weblogs help enable big time! Yes, indeed, weblogs are powerful communication tools but not just that. I would go a bit further with that notion and indicate how they are also powerful knowledge sharing and collaborative tools going beyond the point of just communication, which is what e-mail and IM have done all along thus far. There is a difference, in my opinion, and why weblogs would still be part of what Knowledge Management is all about. Perhaps even more so with the so-called Personal Knowledge Management, where weblogs are perhaps one of its main examples that people keep relating to over and over again. Empowering knowledge workers to be able to manage their knowledge in a space where they are the ones in control of the knowledge sharing flow and how they would collaborate with others.

Either way, for the rest I have thoroughly enjoyed the video itself as I feel it does make for a good and compelling business case for enterprise weblogs and, best of all, are the last few minutes of the video where you can see some extended hints and tips on how to get things going, just in case you may be contemplating doing something similar, and what items you would need to incorporate and which ones you would need to forget. A good show, for sure. Highly recommended for those who may still be a bit skeptical about weblogs in the enterprise. I am sure they would change their mind after watching the video.

Link via A YouTube business Model in the Enterprise (Another interesting reading on the business value behind video for the enterprise)

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2 comments

  1. Luis,

    I think your point about the focus on tacit knowledge is key to understand the impact of weblogs in organisations. Weblogs help unearth people’s wealth of knowledge and expertise in a way that databases, management contents systems, search engines, etc. cannot. Similarly to an iceberg, where 90% of its volume is under water, people’s thoughts, experiences, views can be brought up to surface using new communication tools such as weblogs. I feel one of Rod Boothby’s underlying points is that KM is about facilitation rather than about managing knowledge as such, it’s about creating the right environment for knowledge to flow.

    Javi

  2. Hi Javi ! Thanks a lot for dropping by and for your great feedback comments !

    “Weblogs help unearth people’s wealth of knowledge and expertise in a way that databases, management contents systems, search engines, etc. cannot”

    [,,,]

    “I feel one of Rod Boothby’s underlying points is that KM is about facilitation rather than about managing knowledge as such, it’s about creating the right environment for knowledge to flow.”

    Spot on, indeed, Javi ! I must say that was also the same point that I got from watching Rod’s business case on enterprise blogs, however, I also felt, while going through it, how most people would think that all this social software is not part of KM because it is just too easy to work by and make extensive use of it. I felt it is necessary to understand that, like you said, we are just starting to notice beyond the tip of the iceberg from KM and if there is anything that social software would do is to actually bring forward an entire dimension of knowledge that was underlying all over the place but that was never shared with others. Weblogs would allow knowledge workers to actually be adventurous and share what they know with others and collaborate in an environment where they are the ones in control of the knowledge flow and not the system, which is what may have happened thus far. At least, that is mostly part of what I have experienced myself all along and why, overall, I am really excited about all these new emerging technologies as they are going to provide a new ground for people to become better at what they already do now: work even smarter.

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